simple is beautiful

My Favorite Room: Courtney of A Thoughtful Place

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Today we have Courtney here from the blog "A Thoughtful Place".  Welcome Courtney!

I was so honored when Rene asked me to be a part of this great series. She is one of my favorite bloggers around. Her impeccable style and kind heart are such a winning combination.
 My favorite room really has less to do with design and more to do with memories. Our house lacks a formal dining room, but the kitchen opens up to a rather large dining space. The table easily extends so  we have hosted countless holidays, tea parties, informal gatherings, and birthday parties. But more than that, these rooms are the heart of the home. Most days you can find me cooking dinner while the kids dream up their next big project at the dining room table. It's really where I love to be. Not only that, but the wood floors and open floor plan make for killer impromptu dance parties! 

The kitchen really came a long way and you can see all of the special touches we added right here. It's clean and simple with just a touch of glamour. It think that is the design style that really makes me most happy. 

The dining room drapes were my biggest accomplishment in this room. I like the clean lines and  the effect they have when they are drawn closed.

This room is also my favorite because it has the French doors that open to a side patio. I tried to bring the outside in with the touches of green and the botanical artwork {free by the way!}. The chandelier is that little bit of glamour I crave in each room.

These rooms are such a huge part of our lives. We have had countless giggles, messes, pretend cooking shows and projects born from these spaces. Quite simply, they are my favorite. Thanks so much for having me, Rene. 

A Thoughtful Place Blog 

It has been fun to watch the changes take place in your dining room Courtney.  It is beautiful!  Thanks so much for sharing your favorite room with us today!  

To see more of Courtney's work go here.

How to Grow Succulents & a 20% Off Sale

Monday, August 29, 2011

I hope that everyone had a nice weekend and made it through the storm.  We were lucky to escape with only high winds thankfully.

Over the weekend I visited my local nursery in search of succulents.  I had so much fun talking to the nice man about growing conditions, etc. and thought I would share his tips in case you are interested in growing succulents yourself.

Succulents drink a fair amount of water, but it is important that they have good drainage.

They also prefer bright light and would be very happy in a sunny window.  Bright indirect light is best.

Succulents can grow in all sorts of containers.  I really like this terrarium style with the soil on the bottom and grit or gravel on top.

I chose three succulents to try thinking our kitchen window would be the perfect sunny spot.  The soil that was recommended was this cactus mix which provides good drainage.  I started with small plants because I like to watch things grow. 

 Here they are all potted up in our kitchen window.  Does anyone remember Smith & Hawken (the catalog)?  I have had this copper tray from the old Smith and Hawken days.  Our window boxes came from there too.  Gosh I miss that catalog.

Have you tried succulents?  If you like the look, but don't have a green thumb, you can find a tutorial for a faux succulent terrarium right here.  Enjoy your day.


I have extended the sale in my etsy store.  Use promo code THANKYOU2 at checkout to receive 20% off.  Sale ends Wednesday.  Happy shopping!

What a Week...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Emerald Isle

This has been quite the week this week.  First came the earthquake that we felt even here in North Carolina - literally shaking our house.  Then came the first day of school.  And now for the hurricane.  For me it is a week of letting go and watching our boys soar into the new school year.  Bitter sweet.

Next week will be a little more normal around here.  Thanks for sticking around.  Happy weekend!

Little Surprises - Dreamy Chairs

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm keeping this post short & sweet today.  School starts so I am needed elsewhere...

I love pretty little surprises.  Especially when they come in the form of fabric.  This would be a great way to stretch the fabric budget too by using the pricier fabric in a smaller area.

A Dose of Pretty

What about you - do you like pretty surprises too?

My Favorite Room: Nita of Mod Vintage Life

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Today we have Nita here from Mod Vintage Life.  One thing I really enjoy about this series is that each guest brings a whole new style and Nita is no exception.  Nita lives in a 1930's tudor revival house and chronicles many of the updates she has made to her house on her blog.  Welcome Nita!

I'm so very happy to be asked by Rene to contribute to her series - "My Favorite Room". 
Cottage and Vine was one of the first blogs I read when I started my own it's fun to be included 
in a blog that I've long admired. 
It was hard for me to choose my favorite room but it came down to which room do 
I enjoy changing things up in the most. And that makes my 
{my favorite room}

I began the revitalization of my 1931 tudor/storybook cottage by designing and building a
reproduction art tile fireplace to replace the one that had long ago been removed from the home.

Oh how I enjoy decorating this mantel for each season.

After the fireplace was completed...I installed a 1920's chandelier and hand painted (by me) ceiling medallion.
I knew from the beginning that the ceiling would be blue.

Oh... I love this antique chandi!

 Ever changing vignettes throughout the room.

I can't resist giving you a peek into my dining room.
I completed painting all that furniture white this past spring. 
I am anxious to go all out holiday decorating it from Halloween through Christmas. 
For you see I'm pretty much a freak about decorating for all holidays.

See I make it really spooky at Halloween.

But very cheery at Christmas.

Be sure to come by my blog in October to see how scary I can make the dining room.
This will be my first year to decorate it for all holidays. I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks so much for letting me share, Rene!


What a treat to see!  That fireplace is amazing!  And, she wasn't joking about the holidays - if you need decorating ideas Nita is your girl.  Thanks so much for stopping by today Nita!  To see more of Nita's home go here.

My Very Own Abstract Art

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

There is something timeless and striking about abstract art.  The good abstract art, not the kind I saw in the orthodontist office yesterday ;).  I know it has been a hot topic on the blogs lately so I don't mean to bore you with more of the same.  However, I do want to share with you the lovely piece that I recently won on the blog "My Many Moments".  Heather shared her inspiration on this post  and decided to try painting her own.  Actually, she made two - one to keep and one to giveaway.  I was thrilled to be the lucky recipient.

Cottage and Vine

By the way, if you haven't checked out Heather's blog, you should.  She has the formula for the modern/vintage mix that I often refer to.  Thank you Heather!

For more DIY art ideas, check out my "art" board on pinterest.  Not all of them are actually DIY projects, but they are inspiring just the same.  

I am especially crazy for this one.

Enjoy your day!

A Big Week

Monday, August 22, 2011

This is going to be a big week.  School starts Thursday (sniff) and we still have supplies to purchase and open houses to attend.  Summer reading is taking much longer than our boys realized.  Note to self, The Count of Monte Christo is a big book.  And so is Genghis Khan.  We are trying to squeeze the last few drops of summer out of our days.  The high dive at our pool is always the end of summer celebration.  In other words, it isn't summer until my husband and I go off.  I usually manage to put it off until the day the pool closes because heights aren't my idea of a fun time.

Yesterday I cut the last remaining flowers from the hydrangeas.  Another sign that summer is coming to an end.  Just as a side note, Annabelle hydrangeas should be cut to 12-18" above the ground at the end of summer.  They bloom on new growth.

Over the weekend, Mom shared some goodies from her garden.  She has such a green thumb and her gardens always blow me away.  This year, she tried growing butternut squash with great success.  Eating butternut squash in the summer has been a treat because we usually only have it in the fall roasted or in soups. This summer we have enjoyed it grilled using this recipe here.

We also celebrated Mom's birthday over the weekend.  It was a surprise and we actually pulled it off well.  Over the years, Mom has collected many things.  Her new collection is Limoges boxes.  We gave her two boxes to add to her collection.  I must admit that I have grown rather fond of these darling little boxes myself.  I can just imagine an entire collection on a dresser or side table.  They are all so delicate and the colors are beautiful.

The true Limoges boxes are stamped.  You can find them on ebay or etsy.  

These Place mats...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

...have kept me very busy.  When I first made them to sell in my etsy store I had no idea how well received they would be.  Now my little place mats are all over the country and have even made their way to the UK to be displayed in the Verdant Works Exhibit along with other jute items from the centuries.

To say that I am honored, flattered, and grateful would be an understatement.  Thank you Sherry, for giving me the idea!

My Favorite Room: Fran of Green Street

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today we have Fran of Green Street here to talk about her favorite space.  I am especially grateful that she could squeeze in a visit with us today.  Fran and her husband are expecting their second baby and planning a move to Vienna, Austria.  Welcome Fran!

Thank you Rene for inviting me to participate in your series!  Is it me or is it hard to pick a favorite?  I've been going back and forth trying to select my favorite.  I finally decided I would share my favorite space.  I'm not sure you would officially call it a room, but it's an important space because it is the first thing you see walking up our stairs and it is the entryway to all the rooms upstairs.

This space was a labor of love - from painting the stripes to the painstaking task of finding a cool flush mount ceiling light (for very low ceilings).  Practically everything in this space was furnished with items I already owned except for the 'For Like Ever' poster and the ceiling light.  

This used to be a really bland and boring hallway/landing, but now it is a warm, cozy and unexpected space that makes me really happy every time I walk upstairs.  Here is the before:

If you're interested in how the stripes were painted on the wall, you can go here.  I was pleasantly surprised at how the stripes made such a big impact in a small space.  By looking at the before picture, I never thought my upstairs hallway/landing would eventually become one of my favorite spaces!!  It's amazing what a little paint and a couple of details can accomplish!


Fran, the landing is so light and airy now.  I can see how this could be your favorite space.  Thanks so much for being my guest today!  To visit Fran's blog go here.
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